For the first time this season, no school records were broken at the track meet on Friday.
Neither the team nor the coach sees this as a bad sign, however. "School records are not the benchmark of success," said Coach Tom Mulligan. "We focus on doing well, and these kinds of things happen along the way."
The team came in second overall at the Greater Cleveland Colleges meet on Friday night. "I'm a senior and we've never been that good since I've been here," said Trista Thornberry, who was named last week's NCAC track athlete of the week. Thornberry won the 1500 meter race and came in second to a runner from Case Western Reserve University in the 800 meter open.
Oberlin runners won six of the 16 women's track and field events and placed in 12 of the events. The men's team won three of their 16 events and placed in nine.
Junior Rachel Sims won the 1000 meter race for her first collegiate victory; first-year Elizabeth Chandler won the 400 meter open; and junior Nicole James won the 300 meter open. Another notable performance was junior Amie Ely's second place long jump, her best jump of the season.
On the men's team, fifth-year Alex Dawe lapped the field and raced to victory in the 5000 meter race. Senior James Richter won the 1000 meter race. "He'd been really close to victory all year," Richter's teammate junior Dan Feldman said, " I know he felt really good about that."
"At every meet we are looking for progress," said Mulligan, who was very pleased with the team's performance. He pointed out that first-year Jenni Heulsman broke the 20- minute barrier for the first time this season, earning a fourth place finish in the 5000 meter race, and first-year Beth Spalding took five seconds off her time in the 1500 meter race.
On the men's team, Feldman ran his best races so far in both the 300 meter dash and the 400 meter open, placing fourth in both races. Feldman is ranked in the top three in the conference for both events. Junior Jay Johnson also had his best triple jump of the season, placing third in that event.
Thornberry said she is looking forward to the conference meet on Mar. 6. "We're going to be up there at conference," said Thornberry. "Last year we were seventh, but this year I think we'll be top three."
Is the men's team feeling slighted because they haven't broken any school records this season? Not at all, according to Feldman. "Don't worry," he said. "We'll break records. We are top three in the league in sprints."
Mulligan credits the team's performance to both the athletes and the coaches. "We've got talented athletes who are working very hard, and good things come out of that. And I think we have some good coaches who really care about the students they are working with. The combination of the two is a good mixture for success," said Mulligan.
Feldman agreed, "The coaches put a serious personal investment in everybody, which is something you don't see on every team."
Rounding out the bends: The indoor track team is preparing for its final meet this weekend. (photo by John Matney)
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 16, February 27, 1998
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